Accepting his party’s nomination, Cuomo sounded a triumphant note in his party convention address that cited his successful efforts to pass gay marriage and gun control and his work to boost education investments and fix the economy of upstate New York.
“We are a family … That’s the dream of New York. We are one. We are upstate and we are downstate but we are one. We are gay, we are straight but we are one,” Cuomo said, before finishing with “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”
Speaking to the convention, de Blasio ticked off some of Cuomo’s accomplishments that are likely to please the party’s liberal wing.
“Let’s talk about early childhood education,” the first-term mayor said. “With the support of Governor Cuomo, we now have the biggest step forward for pre-K in the history of New York City. This governor has stepped up.”
Other speakers including Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, lieutenant governor nominee Kathy Hochul and - by telephone - U.S. House Minority Nancy Pelosi blasted Republicans and by extension Cuomo’s GOP opponent, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.
“They’re anti-immigrant, anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-worker, anti-family, anti-environment,” Silver said. “They’re obstructionists. In Congress. On the Supreme Court. In statehouses.”
Polls suggest Cuomo enjoys a sizeable lead over Astorino, who is little known in many parts of the state. But the same polls also indicate the governor’s advantage would shrink if he faces a left-leaning challenger.
Republicans nominated their slate at a convention last week, and insist Cuomo hasn’t done enough to strengthen the economy and take on government corruption.
Astorino, elected from a heavily Democratic county just outside New York City, says he can appeal to moderate Democrats and independents. He supports hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, and has called for the repeal of the gun control measures signed into law by Cuomo.
State Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos said taxpayers should be wary of listening to the Democratic rhetoric. He said an all-Democratic government would be a return to a “dark time.”
“The governor himself talked about the importance of reaching across the aisle and said we shouldn’t go back to the dysfunction, chaos and gridlock that existed four years ago under an all-Democrat state government,” he said in a statement emailed to reporters. “Senate Republicans agree.”
Hochul, a former U.S. House member from Buffalo, spoke the day after the announcement of Cuomo’s pick for the next lieutenant governor. Incumbent Robert Duffy, a former Rochester mayor, announced this month that he wouldn’t seek a second term.
Hochul, an attorney and former Erie County clerk, served a single term in the House from 2011-2013 before losing a re-election bid to Republican Chris Collins. She currently is a vice president and lobbyist at M&T; Bank.